City of Broken Magic

City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story is set in a country that uses the equivalent of late 20th century technology. Women are expected to marry, but it is acceptable for them to take on secretarial type jobs. There are some rare, but amazing women working in higher tier jobs (politics, police, etc.) In addition to technology, they also use amulets for various purposes. Once those amulets run out of juice, human-eating monsters come out of them. (Yum yum. Pass the ketchup.)

Sweepers are trained in the job of exterminating these dangerous beings. The problem with this city, is that their politicians convinced people that their city is sort of immune to monsters. Anytime there’s an incident, it’s blamed on the mobs. This means that Sweepers have bad press, and next to no staff.

So we have dangerous monsters, and two and a half Sweepers to clean up the problem. However, there’s currently a spike in the frequency & strength of the attacks, and Laura (the MC) has to figure out how to excel at her job, work with her new fellow useless apprentice, deal with her taciturn boss, and somehow survive a sudden massive invasion, among other things.

I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me a lot of The Screaming Staircase series by Jonathan Stroud, although the characters are older (in their 20s). It’s got a similar plot and vibe – quick thinking characters fighting a never-ending battle against monsters that think humans make for a good meal.

The book is well written, with a good mix between action, character development, world building, magic weapons, and an excellent plot. I liked the sparks between Laura and her boss, Clae, who pisses everyone off, because why not? I’m also happy that while there were potential moments with several characters, Laura remained focused on her job, and appreciated her status as a free single woman, without running off after romantic rainbows, despite family pressure.

Basically, this was a great book. It kept me up late into the night. I highly recommend it.

Disclaimer: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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